Mountaintops to the Deep Sea in the Milford Sound
“Key Summit is one of many hiking trails – or as locals call them, tracks – that crisscross the South Island near Milford Sound, the green gemstone atop New Zealand’s wilderness crown,” Nevada-based Erin Williams writes in a travel feature for The Washington Post.
“Milford Sound sits within Fiordland National Park, which in turn is part of Te Wahipounamu – south-west New Zealand, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that covers 10 per cent of the country’s landmass,” Williams writes.
“Milford Sound’s mountains, rain forests and its fjord draw more than 500,000 visitors each year. Many of them are tour bus day-trippers from neighbouring Te Anau or Queenstown who take a quick boat cruise, snap photos and head back to town. A landing strip and helipad accommodate sightseers who forgo the drive and whiz in and out.
“[Travel partner] Andrew and I chose a different option: driving a rental car and pitching our tent. This provided us with maximum flexibility to experience this famous landscape without the infamous crowds – from ascending mountaintops to descending below the water’s surface to float among deep-sea creatures.
“Our last stop [on the trip was] Cascade Creek. Alpine peaks poked from the mist, but wildflowers stole the scene. Acres of purple, pink and blue lupines fringed the rocky stream in riotous colour – a final, sweet reminder of the region’s varied drama.”
Original article by Erin Williams, The Washington Post, September 7, 2018.
Photo by Erin Williams.